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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:26 AM
Original message
Why do secular and religious people try to tell each other what to think?
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 12:34 AM by Selwynn
Evening!

My question tonight comes from that other thread, "What are your thoughts on Christianity?" Although I posted once in that thread that I was "tired of 300 religion threads a day on DU" the conversation then got my brain going, and what can I say - I got sucked in.

At several points in that thread there was a very contentious debate between two groups of people who believe very differently. What struck me so profoundly was how people on both sides of the issue, and not just the religious side of the issue showed a kind of "aggressiveness" in their opinion. It wasn't enough to simply say "well this is what I believe for myself." It seemed like people on both sides wanted to make absolute, universal declarations about how every one else should think. The impression I got was that at least some people on both sides were saying not just "this is what I personally think" but saying, "this is what is objectively true, because I say so, because I've decided through my reasoning that I am right. If you disagree you're wrong, because I say so. Don't bother thinking for yourself, I'm telling you what's right."

This is the question I posed on the other thread: Why do we feel so compelled to do that? Why can't we simply stop with, "this is what I believe," and not worry about trying to brow-beat everyone else into accepting that we we believe as absolute, unconditional universal truth and anyone who disagrees is wrong?

The subject was literalness or mythical nature of the Bible. I wrote:

We do we always have to start fights? I'm quite comfortable saying "I believe..." and by adding those words, it is my intention to make room for others who believe differently. It's not up to me to evaluate whether I think they are objectively right or wrong. It doesn't hurt me when someone else says "I believe the Bible is true." The only thing that hurts me is when they say "the Bible is true - I'm deciding the issue for you. I reject your right to decide for yourself, I choose to tell you what is right and wrong, true and untrue."

I certainly wouldn't want to be guilty of the same thing.

I believe that the issue of "truth" is more complicated. I believe that there is a different between literal truth and spiritual truth - and by spiritual truth I believe that means metaphor and symbolism, things that represent larger truths figuratively. I believe that there may be some literal truths to be found in scripture, but I also personally believe that much of scripture should be seen as representative, or pointing to spiritual truths. To me, a lot of the scripture is like a big parable - a story that has the potential for very positive meaning for some, whether literally true or not.

One of the most life-changing stories I've ever read was a work of fiction. That it was fiction did not change the fact that it certainly pointed to deep and meaningful truths about my experience. I cherished it deeply. There is more to "truth" than just literalism.

Old Testament scholar Phyllis Tribble wrote:

"To appropriate the metaphor of a Zen sutra, poetry is 'like a finger pointing to the moon.' It is a way to see light that shines in darkness, a way to participate in transcendent truth and to embrace reality. To equate the finger with the moon or to acknowledge the finger and not to perceive the Moon is to miss the point."

Just because the Bible might have the capacity to point beyond itself metaphorically, symbolically and theologically to something else doesn't mean it must be decried as irrelevant by any thinking reflective person. Nor does it mean it must be affirmed relevant. I leave that choice up to individuals. And I do not talk down to them, no matter which way they choose (at least I don't want to.)

I personally believe the Bible is like a "finger pointing to the moon." For me in my life, to falsely reduce it by claiming it is historically literal verbatim is to fundamentally miss the value of scared texts. That such texts include myths, parables, analogies and non-literal symbols does not dismiss its power at all for me. I never worshiped "the bible." I've only ever seen the bible as one particular window which carries with it at least the potential (for at least some people like me) to illuminate the deeper mysteries of life.

And if you feel differently, I respect that and call you friend. Why should we argue about it? I'm comfortable in your goodness of person without demanding that you at all points think precisely like I think. I would hope you could show me (and others) the same respect.

Sel

PS - I feel its important to add that I might be wrong about everything I believe. But, just the same, it's what I believe today. Check back with me tomorrow when I've lived a day longer! :D Cheers!
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kiahzero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:28 AM
Response to Original message
1. I'm comfortable with just about everyone
The only people I'm not comfortable with are the theists and atheists who both try and convert me to their way of thinking. I've heard the arguments before - they didn't sway me the first time, and they don't sway me at k or k+1 times... therefore, by induction, they will never sway me.
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:32 AM
Original message
LOL great post! k or k+1 - therefore, by induction... I love it... :D
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July Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 09:09 AM
Response to Reply #1
26. Thank you, kiahzero, and thank you, Selwynn.
You are models of tolerance. I think your views could be extended to other issues, such as the abortion debate and the "acceptable words" debate. "Live and let live" (a great Cole Porter song from "Can-Can") seems to be so difficult for people on both sides of important issues.

In the threads on whether or not certain words are offensive, my only posts have been to argue that if I disagree with someone on the issue, it is because I don't share their premises. I don't think I'm making any headway in trying to say what Selwynn has said so clearly, and it disturbs me when people on either side of that issue, the religion debates, or the abortion discussions represent the other side as ignorant, morally deficient, or aggressively hostile.

Once again, thank you very much.
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LeahMira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #26
33. Is it coming from the top down?
I think your views could be extended to other issues, such as the abortion debate and the "acceptable words" debate.

What troubles me as someone who is not Christian is the message that George W. Bush's America is a Christian nation, and that non-Christians are welcome so long as they agree to accept their status as a tolerated minority rather than as fully equal citizens.

It's when controversial issues like abortion are discussed that the Christian view apparently trumps all others. These days, "American" and "Christian" seem to be synonymous in most folks' minds... to the point where most aren't even aware of it.
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rpannier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:32 AM
Response to Original message
2. Unfortunately...
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 12:33 AM by rpannier
many atheists are just a zealous as many fundamentalist Christians are. They see every contradictory word spoken and action taken as an attack on their position. When you are so sure you are right, but you cannot truly back it up with facts you resort to name calling. Ask any 5-year old, or member of the Bush Administration.
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alittlelark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:38 AM
Response to Reply #2
13. I know 5 or so atheists...none of them fit that description.
They have no interest in discussing religion, or converting anyone to their (lack of) dogma.

The Fundamentalist Christians I know are a different story...... :eyes:
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:41 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. I agree. We atheists just want to be left alone.
We don't want anyone's religious agendas interfering with our daily lives. Worship anyone you like in complete freedom but don't start taking over our civic rights with your beliefs.
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rpannier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:46 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. And I know many
who insist that everything that makes a reference to God is somehow bad and should be removed from anything public. Whether you like it or not that's enforcing your opinion on the general public.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:57 AM
Response to Reply #15
19. Okay, let's assume I worship a giant supernatural lizard.
This giant lizard wants everyone to drink beer on its sabbath. I insist on passing laws that the sacramental beer be available free for those who worship the lizard and everyone else must also drink beer on the sabbath because a law was passed stating this.

Now why is this any different than banning liquor and beer on Sundays, or making it impossible to buy regular beer, but being forced to buy 3.2% beer like in Utah? These laws are based on one person's religion and imposed on everyone else. This is what I am talking about. Any civic law that puts a religious tenet on the law books is not acceptable to atheists. However, feel free not to indulge if your religion forbids it. Just don't push it on everyone else.
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daveskilt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #19
32. the difference is forcing action versus inaction
to say everyone has to do X is different (albeit slightly) than saying that they cant. Dont get me wrong I think that the prevention of gay marriage for example on religious grounds is obscene both legally and ethically. In your example though the inability to buy beer on sunday is an inconvenience (which is granted ridiculous and should be changed) as opposed to forcing consumption. and if you live in utah you deserve all you get :) (lived there for 7 years)

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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #32
41. Not quite. Christianity teaches that sins of omission are as serious
as commission. So inaction contrary to action would fall in the same order of logic. I used the nonsensical approach so that I wouldn't offend anyone using a real life example. No, I wouldn't live in Utah if they paid me to but unfortunately it's a state one often has to drive through to get to other states. If you break down in Utah, you are stuck there with all the LDS hoodoo that permeates everyone's life in Utah until you are able to leave.

I often thought that Utah is in violation of the Constitution being that there is only a thinly veiled attempt to make this theocratic government appear to be secular.
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #32
79. it's forcing abstinense - still forcing.
That is not acceptable in a pluralistic society.
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gpandas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #19
46. agreed
why can't so many Americans understand this simple matter, can they be that stupid?
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dpibel Donating Member (898 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:00 AM
Response to Reply #15
20. No,
That's enforcing the Constitution on the general public. Many fail to see how that is a bad thing.

I trust when you say "anything public" you are not falling prey to the idea that public displays of religious symbols, e.g., giant glowing creches on one's front lawn, are the object of suppression by militant atheists. If that is a worry for you, please check your facts. It's public displays of religion on government property that's the problem.

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rpannier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:06 AM
Response to Reply #20
22. No
I know Atheists that are ofended by "In God We Trust" on the dollar bill. They have gotten out and said that the congress should not open with a prayer. That students should not be able to gather BEFORE school in prayer, because it's on school property. Just so you are aware -- I was the founder of San Francisco States Students for Free Thought. An organization for Atheist Members of the SFSU student body.
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dpibel Donating Member (898 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:18 AM
Response to Reply #22
23. And your point would be?
I'm offended by "In God We Trust" on the dollar bill. It's official, government-issued currency, and having that phrase on there constitutes a governmental endorsement of a particular belief system (an establishment of religion).

The congress (at least hypothetically) is a branch of the government. Opening congressional sessions with a prayer constitutes an endorsement of a particular religion as a part of the function of the government.

Schools are government property. Permitting students to gather for prayer constitutes an endorsement of a particular religion--why would the government provide a place for worship if it were neutral on the topic of religion.

The examples you give all fall within the ambit of governmental activities. So why did you give them?

I have no idea what your former office is supposed to mean to me. What are your current beliefs, just out of curiosity?

It may have given you more contact than most with atheists. But, so far, you have not addressed my initial point, which is that the Constitution of the USofA prohibits governmental establishment of religion. As that contentious phrase has been interpreted down through the years, my usage of "endorsement" is an accurate portrayal of what the Constitution prohibits.

You appear to disagree with my contention that no atheist is interested in telling you you can't put the biggest baby jesus you can find on your front lawn. You can leave it there until the sun bleaches it white. Nobody cares. Your examples fail to address that issue.
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kiahzero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 08:39 AM
Response to Reply #23
25. Sorry, but you're wrong on one count
Schools are government property. Permitting students to gather for prayer constitutes an endorsement of a particular religion--why would the government provide a place for worship if it were neutral on the topic of religion.

If students can gather to shoot the shit before classes begin in the morning, also allowing them to gather to pray before classes begin in the morning is not an "endorsement of religion." Students can pray wherever they can say anything else.
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dpibel Donating Member (898 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #25
31. Students can pray any bloody time they feel like it
If it were not so, there would be mass hysteria at all final examinations.

Nobody can stop them from praying, which is an individual exercise.

Prayer meetings, however, are organized worship, which is a different animal.

And frankly, if they want to stand around the schoolyard and join hands and offer up prayers and supplications, I don't really have a problem with that, so long as the school will also tolerate Muslim students kneeling toward Mecca and Buddhist students gathering for a bit of sitting zazen before they start their day. A few pagans would be good, too.

I do object to, and believe that it is unconstitutional, to give any of those groups a schoolroom in which to practice their religion.
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kiahzero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #31
44. You'd be wrong, then
Prayer meetings, however, are organized worship, which is a different animal.

So long as they aren't led by a school official, this falls under the free exercise clause.

And frankly, if they want to stand around the schoolyard and join hands and offer up prayers and supplications, I don't really have a problem with that, so long as the school will also tolerate Muslim students kneeling toward Mecca and Buddhist students gathering for a bit of sitting zazen before they start their day. A few pagans would be good, too.

They are legally obliged to, and they do (in most cases). When they don't, they get sued.

I do object to, and believe that it is unconstitutional, to give any of those groups a schoolroom in which to practice their religion.

Nope, so long as secular and religious groups are treated equally, there's no discrimination or establishment.
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July Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 09:16 AM
Response to Reply #15
27. I don't know, I see it differently.
To me, it's enforcing the separation of church and state that is part of our constitution. It's not a matter of viewing references to God as "bad," nor is it enforcing an atheist opinion, especially given that both believers and non-believers support the separation of church and state. And separation isn't elimination. Religion flourishes in this country, partly owing to the principle of separation of church and state.
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gpandas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #15
45. enforcing opinion on general public?
everything that makes a reference to god is a personal matter(opinion) and therefore should be removed from places that I pay for unless I am provided with equal space to post my opinion, and I have a lot of them that I'm quite sure you don't agree with.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:09 PM
Response to Reply #15
48. There is a difference between religiously neutral and opposed
An atheistic governmental stance would post quotes and sayings denying the existance of god. There would be joyous statements about how wonderful it is to be living in a country free from god. There would be official holidays celebrating the triumphs of atheists driving theists out of various countries.

This does not happen.

We live in a nation whose government must remain neutral in regards to religion. This does not mean its citizens must remain neutral. Just the government.

This means that it cannot celebrate or praise a particular belief system over another. They cannot support theism or atheism. They cannot advocate god or the teaching that there is no god. They must remain neutral.

Trust me. You do not want to find out what a dogmatic atheist government is about any more than we wish to see the return of dogmatic theocratic government. Neutrality works. Defend the wall.
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Book Lover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #15
77. Just take God off
the money I have to use and off the courtroom walls I sit inside while waiting for justice. Is that so wrong?
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #15
78. If you cannot see that that is an example of believers forcing
non-believers to respect their version of things, then it is no use discussing this issue.

Just leave god out - you want to acknowledgy it - go to church - cover your car and home with it - but don't force it on the rest of the community - because that is just what it is.
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TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #13
75. Boy is THAT ever the truth!
I know of absolutely NO instance of any athiests trying to force their view on anyone else - they just want to be left alone.

On the contrary, all fundies insist that it's "my way or the highway" and brand you less than human or "evil" if you don't subscribe to their point of view.

That is the problem with the talibornagains, not any athiests.
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dpibel Donating Member (898 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:56 AM
Response to Reply #2
18. Since you abhor name-calling
I assume that associating other people with 5-year olds and the Bush Administration constitutes something other than name-calling.

Although it quacks an awful lot like name-calling.

Beams 'n motes, baby.
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rpannier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:42 AM
Response to Reply #18
24. Anyone
Anyone who feels the need to name call rather than engage in a conversation, or argument is acting like a five year old. I've had Christians tell me, "Well...well...well you're just going to hell." And I've had the other side say, "Wel....you're just a tool of the fanatical Christians!" That IS name calling. If you're offended by my Bush reference, all I can say is look at how badly they've savaged people who criticize them. Not the issue they're talking about -- personal attacks.
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daveskilt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:37 AM
Response to Original message
3. I need to think about this
to really answer and i want to see this thread later but I am going to bed now.

I spent 2 years as a missionary and have been on both sides of this fence before. I understand the religious folks insistance they are right since for many of them it is a part of their belief that they state it and if they really believe it and are in any way altruistic they would want others to have what they belive to have found that is so good. Of course I am not sure such noble motives and self reflection are the true motivation for this insistance.

As to the secular folks insisting that the religious guys are wrong. It could be a passionate belief in the need for proof and science (which only relegates religion to hypothesis rather than disproving it) but I cant see a possible altruistic motive for telling someone their belief is bunk and athieism is the way to go for happiness.

Perhaps a better idea is to pass along ideas on the bible, koran, gita, tripitaka, book of mormon, or rig veda. and to share ideas on how to access the spiritual through prayer or meditation or video games or whatever else does it for you. and if someone gets something good out of it - great. angry religious folks are just not getting it. angry athiests, i need some help understanding that. The fundies can annoy me too but pointing out discrepancy between stated belief and action seems more effective than attacking a core belief that will only harden their resolve and lessen the chance of any critical thinking at all.

ok now im really going to bed.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #3
42. I thought this was why Churches and other religions
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 12:50 PM by Cleita
conducted Sunday Schools or Saturday schools to teach their religion to children. I don't think one religion should be allowed to proselytize in public schools and other public buildings to the exclusion of others. There should be a distinct separation, however, this doesn't mean that individuals can't express their religion if they desire, by what they wear and do individually, unless of course it's against the law.
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BigThama Donating Member (68 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 12:07 AM
Response to Reply #3
52. Dave!
Two years as a missionary? Are you a fellow Mormon here? (If you aren't and are wondering why I ask, that's the standard length of a Mormon mission, one of which I am about to embark on.)

Anyway, I think the natural motive for sharing your values is essentially evolutionary in nature. Any idea that does not encourage its own dissemination and proclamation cannot spread, therefore it will likely die with its original host. Every person has a desire to impress his thoughts onto others, that is the impetus behind discussion, politics, education, etc. While we can hope that the nobler ideas behind this idea spreading drive those ideas that are truly worthwhile, the vast majority of ideology will always be a evolutionary battleground in which the most virile ideas step to the forefront. Christianity and Islam are the largest religions in the world because they are convincing and promote evangelism and conquest.

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wickerwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 12:50 AM
Response to Reply #3
54. The thing is, I don't really feel the need to access the spiritual,period.
I don't feel an obsessive need for facts and science, neither have I ever had an experience that in the slightest way suggested to me an otherworldly power.

I love life, I love the world, and it annoys me when someone says I'm going to hell for doing so. Or accuses me of living a stunted existance because I don't buy into their brand of faith.

And when I see a chance to point out the hypocrisy of the doctrine they are shoving in my face, I take it in the hopes that they will leave me alone in the future. Is this an altruistic motive for telling someone their relief is bunk? No, it's a self-defensive one. I hope it makes sense.

Cheers.
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LZ1234 Donating Member (247 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:38 AM
Response to Original message
4. Good Post
I always admire uniters.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:48 AM
Response to Original message
5. i believe,........bah h aha h
i didnt even go into the thread, so no sucking in for me

i do know none of us know, grin. and that is comforting. my beliefs are so far off all others, that doesnt do any good for me to say all need ot believe like me

but one of the things i believe, we all have an unique way to the answer, to the whole, to self. however one may want to interpret it. always the answer is within self, another cannot give it. so there are as many people on this here planet, as ways to be one with spirit, self, lite, universal power.........whatever one choses, whatever ones song is. it is tuning to the song

once one with our song, there is no need to defend, or to demand that others believe
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jbeam Donating Member (4 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:49 AM
Response to Original message
6. WWMBS?
I like it, but my brother would say:

What if Jesus was right?

what can i say to that?

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dpibel Donating Member (898 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:53 AM
Response to Reply #6
17. You can say:
"That's a short form of Pascal's Wager, which is a particularly unconvincing, albeit common argument."
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #6
43. Hi jbeam!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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LastDemocratInSC Donating Member (580 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:00 AM
Response to Original message
7. The existentialist view, although I don't buy it entirely ...
Certain issues are too critical to allow for a mushy middle due to tolerance. Many religious issues fall into this category - other issues, religious and not, are in this category as well. For this reason, each of us has a responsibility to decide on these issues in a very serious way, as if we were deciding the issue for everybody for all time.

Isn't this why we vote as we do? We think about the issues on the ballot and vote as we think everyone else should vote.

I think that, in a pure sense, this perspective is correct but it doesn't take into account the remarkable life experiences, good and bad, that shape opinions, or the fact that many among us lack the capacity to think well. It's a fact that half of the population, by definition, has below average intelligence. Add to that the enormous number of people who are afraid to stand out on an issue for fear of being hammered down by peers, neighbors, spouses, church, family, employers or friends.

That's my $2.00 opinion. It used to be 2 cents but I am taking inflation into account.
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:17 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. That's interesting... but I think perhaps...
...there is a difference between the seeming imperitive to know what we believe is true, not just individually but universially and the (I would argue) misguided belief that it is our responsibility to "force" others to see it the same way.

I don't believe that is even possible. The more you try to force someone else, the more that person resists. Over and over again this belief that we are so universally right that we should "force" everyone else to think the same way has been responsible for the worst events in history.

I guess I'm saying I grant others the right to be "wrong" as I see it. :D Not that I really "grant" it, I just acknoweldge that they have that right.
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LastDemocratInSC Donating Member (580 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:25 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Oh, I do too ...
Except for my poor misguided brother, and I send him links to stories of interest, along with my "amplifying commentary" every day.
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daveskilt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 09:48 AM
Response to Reply #9
29. well thats just the basis of critical thought
To acknowledge a difference of opinion and accept the possibility that any deeply held belief one holds may be wrong. When you approach religion (from either end) with the assumption that you may be mistaken - acceptance of other ideas comes naturally. Its not like there isnt good that can be had from religions for anyone athiest or not. The ethical systems upon which much of modern society and laws are based are probably worth understanding and the scientific method that some religionists are so opposed to has its obvious benefits.

close minded religious folks and close minded athiests are pretty much the same thing just with a different unprovable belief they refuse to challenge and evaluate.
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cclark401 Donating Member (91 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #7
49. Like your handle
I feel like one of the last ones in NC.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:04 AM
Response to Original message
8. Conversion syndrome?
If you are raised Christian, you are taught to make converts. So even if you reject Christianity, you still want to make converts to your new way of thought because that is what you have been raised to do.

I want to be free to practice or not practice what I believe in. Since I am for the most part a non-believer in any religious thought present today, I wish to be left alone in my non-belief, yet religious holidays seem to permeate my daily life to begin with.

Religious laws that make no sense except in a religious context are on the books and I must obey. Kind people that I know are condemned as perverts because they are gay. I mean really think about what is religious and what is civic and you will find Christianity is forced on the majority of the population in civic laws.

When someone has an epiphany and finds that he can't believe in what he was raised to believe in but has found new knowledge, he has to spread the joy and the dogmatism. I for one do want those laws off of the books that are religion based and have nothing to do with civic order. Other than that believe what you want and leave me out of it.
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:18 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. Not all Christians are taught to be agressvely "evangelical"
I certainly wasn't.
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:34 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. I was raised a Catholic and it was part of our identity to
try to make converts. When I was in school, the nuns sent us to various places to visit the poor, the sick, the needy of all types in the name of performing the works of mercy. I rather liked doing it and I was often sent to the VA to visit the old vets in the cancer ward. BUTTT, they always insisted that I had to take them rosaries to hand out. Now some of the guys wanted the rosaries but most just wanted some company and a game of cards. The majority weren't Catholic.

Since sister always checked my rosary stash to make sure I was giving them out, I found myself burying the unwanted rosaries under bushes before I returned to school. This was a very definite means of trying to make converts IMHO.
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:52 AM
Response to Reply #12
16. Aye, I certianly know that can be true...
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sweetheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:03 AM
Response to Original message
21. What conflict?
We are all human beings, and some people "think" too much. We
all eat, fart, burp, shit and have sexual feelings. We all loved
our mother when we were young.

In person, i use duct tape. 4 inches across the mouth, makes any
person in to pleasant company. :-)

My religion has no beliefs and is silence, surrendering to
death, the infinite universe and the passing beauty of our
inevitable undoing.

All people are welcome in my religion. It is the oneness without
thinking, and whether you believe that the moon is made of cheeze
has little bearing on the profundity of silence.
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hiphopnation Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 09:36 AM
Response to Original message
28. Great Post, Sel.
Thank you.

Me, I'm athiest...but I still go to church every once in a while...just in case LOL!! :thumbsup:

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Kanary Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 09:55 AM
Response to Original message
30. Why? Because it's the American Way.
Beliefs in freedom aside, this is a nation of people telling each other what to believe, what to think and what to do. Rarely does one encounter someone who is interesting in UNDERSTANDING another..... or even just finding out more about them. It's a society based on judgement, criticism, and "getting in line".

"Live And Let Live" is rarely found.

Yet, we pride ourselves on "fighting for freedom".

It's a very adolescent society on most fronts, and one can only wonder when we'll decide to grow up.

Kanary
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gpandas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #30
47. never
never
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Kanary Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 11:29 PM
Response to Reply #47
51. Sadly, I believe you're right.
I weep for this society.

Kanary
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:14 AM
Response to Original message
34. Individual realities colliding
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 10:24 AM by supernova
Thank you for your post Selwynn.

It does befuddle me sometimes that people get so entrenched in their worldviews, they are surprised anyone else thinks differently.

I am a believer but I don't proselytize. It's just not my nature. For me each person has their own path to walk.


edit: We've periodically posted a quiz about where you fall on the political spectrum. It devides the political world into four quadrants:

The horizontal axis represents left----->right

The vertical axis represents Athoritarian------>Libertarian.

Not to get too complicated without a graph, but this shows there is such a thing as the Authoritarian Left, those that have a need for societal control.

The idea of an Authoritarian anything is pretty scary for me, but the concept of an Authoritarian Left is most chilling.
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Az Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
35. Belief
Our minds are not rational things. Our ancestors had to accept things before they understood them. The caveman pondering the nature of the sabertooth tiger made a tasty meal while the guy that turned and ran lived. Our brains are wired to beleive things. Logic and reason were developed later as tools we can use to help us make sense of an increasingly complex society we find ourself in.

Thus belief comes naturally to our minds. Systems of belief can take hold that may not directly correlate to reality but function socially. They may even be a benefit to society by building stronger ties. Evolution does not care about accuracy. Only about what survives.

However as our society taps into more complex issues our reliance on reason and logic rise with it. These tool conflict with some learned belief systems. As the complexity of the society increases and the danger our learned technology poses our need to know the truth of things grows with it.

Due to the shifting nature of our reliance on belief to being able to determine the truth for ourselves there is a conflict within the society. Both sides see the other as a danger. The believers see the skeptics as a threat to the society. They muddle and corrupt the way we live. The skeptics see the believers mired in antiquated systems that put brakes on any true understanding of the universe.
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Kazak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:28 AM
Response to Original message
36. This secular person doesn't...
Do what ya do.

:shrug:
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rman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 11:05 AM
Response to Reply #36
40. this one neither
-
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 11:23 PM
Response to Reply #40
50. What exactly do I do?
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Brewman_Jax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:31 AM
Response to Original message
37. My belief system is my personal experience
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 10:35 AM by Lurking_Argyle
The religionists like to cry about the decline of society and they're so persecuted because prayer in school has been removed,they can't have the Ten Commandments displayed in public buildings, etc.

Prayer wasn't removed from school, forcing everyone to pray THEIR way was. Would the same people allow the Pillars of Islam or a portrait of St. Thomas More (patron saint of law) to be displayed with the Ten Commandments? (BTW, the Ten Commandments are Jewish law.)

They boast about how they got around the godless secularists by getting the "Moment of Silence" law passed here in Georgia several years ago. A teacher was fired for making a stand by not enforcing it. I wonder what would have happened if that teacher had put on a skull cap and read Sufi prayers?

I've even read personal ads that require the respondant to "have a relationship with God" or "be a God-fearing man." Who the hell are they to critique my relationship with a Power greater than myself?

My belief system is a personal experience unto myself that I don't share.

It comes down to this: I can pray, I can not pray, but I don't have to pray YOUR way.

(edited for clarity)
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JohnOneillsMemory Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:58 AM
Response to Original message
38. Heated because so many are dying now in religious wars. DOMINIONISM.
There is a hot war going on with religion as the fuel on both sides.
Those of us who embrace rationalism over mysticism are alarmed by the slippery slope of beliefs fomenting slaughter.

Here is my Dominionism synopsis from my personal posting archive:

Religion is the biggest arrow in the quiver of the Culture War to hijack control of the biggest weapon on the planet, the US government. Television is a close second for filling the collective American mind with manipulative fearmongering. Combined, they are a 24/7 Nuremberg rally of adrenalin and endorphins, a daily drip of red-white-and-blue indoctri-Nation-alism.

'THE CHOSEN FEW' IS BEING MORPHED INTO 'THE MASTER RACE'
THE SAME WAY 'GET OSAMA' WAS MORPHED INTO 'GET SADDAM'! GET IT?

This is the basic model of this religion-fueled fascism:
Supreme Dictator Smiting Evil-doers Wrathfully Without Legal Restraints.
Sound familar?
Yup. George W. Bush as the American Ayatollah.

We are living in the closing minutes of a culture war that the American Taliban, called Dominionists, are winning.
The US Constitution (of-by-for the people) is being gutted and replaced with the Bible (Divine Right of Kings) to achieve a police-state where everyone who isn't with us goes to Guantanamo Bay to be tortured indefinitely with no legal rights. That is already happening.

'Might Makes Right' is WINNING over 'The Rule of Law.'

The inflammation of the old anti-Semitic, anti-homosexual, anti-abortion, and anti-pornography 'passions' is part of a very real and documented campaign to make this country into a Hitlerian theocracy fueled by militarism and Christian fundamentalist religious dogma called 'Dominionism.'

Its teachings are the opposite of those of Jesus Christ's Sermon on the Mount. Instead:
Wealth=virtue/Poverty=sin.
War=safety/Peace=danger.
Monarchy=Success/Democracy=failure.

It is totally Orwellian and some animals are definitely more equal than others. In fact, some deserve to starve. Eugenics serves as domestic policy while imperialism is foreign policy.

We are experiencing the return of eugenics (elimination of the 'weak') in our government's policies that looks very much like the old systems of feudalism, slavery and holocaust.
Have you noticed the body-count in the last three years with no end in sight?


Georgie's brain is much worse than you think and he's being used for terrible purposes. Here's a British clinical psychologist's researched analysis of the boy king. He interviewed Georgie's family, friends and such and determined that he was abused as a child and developed an 'authoritarian personality,' the root of fascism. Read it and weep for him and us.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,1033904,00....
(So George, how do you feel about your mom and dad?)-CLICK

And this personality is being exploited to further the creation of a Hitlerian Theocracy called Dominionism, which has been going on in this country for the last thirty years. Read it and wonder what the hell we're in for next now that Eugenics is domestic policy and Imperialism is foreign policy.
http://www.axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/article_5160....
(God Bless America, The Constitution is Dead)-CLICK

If you'd like to read the full speech of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia back in the dark ages of January 2002 when he said that 'democracy interferes with the Divine Right of Kings and he's doing something about it,' read this and wonder what century we're living in and just what that Constitution was for, anyway.
http://www.prodeathpenalty.com/scalia.htm
(God's Justice and Ours)-CLICK

Eugenics, isnt that a little dramatic? Social conditions have not improved in the United States since 1980.
Using data from the UN and World Bank, researcher Richard Estes created an Index of Social Progress that
Takes into account health, education, human rights, political participation, population growth, the status of women, cultural diversity, freedom from social chaos, military spending, and environmental protection.
In a list that included 163 countries, the United States ranked 27th. Estes, who has researched world social development for 30 years, found the pace of social development to be "on hold" since 1980, putting the U.S. on the same level as Poland and Slovenia in the current "report card. Yet the US defense budget is the size of the next 15 largest in the world combined.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2003-07/uop-ur20...
(US Ranks 27th in World Social Progress)-CLICK.


How can they get away with it when everyone seems to be mad at Georgie and we're supposed to be able to vote him out of our White House? By fixing the electronic voting machines for 'the House.' Read this and decide which country to escape to this fall when Georgie is reinstalled, like a 'Manchurian Candidate' to finish the job he was sent to do: eliminate democracy, create a police state, and conquer the world as Superman Jesus in a Cowboy Hat.
http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0225-05.htm
(Diebold, Electonic Voting, and the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy)-CLICK

LATE BREAKING NEWS-FEB. 26 2004
Right now the Dominionists are introducing legislation to replace 'The People' as the authority in our democracys Constitution with God in a bill called The Constitution Restoration Act of 2004, exactly the opposite of what it really is, just like the Patriot Act, the Help America Vote Act, the Leave No Child Behind Act, and the Clear Skies Act. The legalities of the Christian Theocracy are being used to destroy our laws as if by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

This is not a test! It is absolutely real and happening right now while the media are busy covering gay marriage and Mel Gibsons bloody crucifixion porn film, The Passion of the Christ.

on February 11 , 2004 Dominionist leaders in congress made their move; they introduced a bill in both houses called The Constitution Restoration Act of 2004. Among the sponsors of the bill are Rep. Robert Aderholt (Alabama), Rep. Michael Pence (Indiana), Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama, Sen. Zell Miller (Georgia), Sen. Sam Brownback (Kansas), and Sen. Lindsey Graham (South Carolina).

The House version is H.R. 3799 and the Senate version is S. 2082. The bill limits the U.S. Supreme Court and federal courts to hear cases involving expressions of religious faith by elected or appointed officials.

Although the claim by its sponsors appears to be that the intention is to prevent the courts from hearing cases involving the Ten Commandments or a Nativity Scene in a public setting from being reviewed, the law is drawn broadly and expressly includes the acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law by an official in his capacity of executing his office.

http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0402/S00172.htm
(The Constitution Restoration Act of 2004)-CLICK
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Steely_Dan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 11:05 AM
Response to Original message
39. An Agnostic
As a reformed Athiest...now and Agnostic, I never push my beliefs on to others. However, I have some disdain for those who try and push their religion on to me.

-Paige

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bigbillhaywood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 12:38 AM
Response to Original message
53. There is no God...It's a fact.
As much as there is no Easter Bunny or no Santa Claus. And don't tell me I can't conclusively prove God does not exist. Because I cannot conclusively prove the Easter Bunny doesn't exist, either. But there is not one shred of evidence that either the Easter Bunny or God exists-- period. Sorry, but atheists are right and religious people wrong. Not just my opinion. It's what's logical. If we really want to have reasonable discussions, we have to throw religion out-- because there is nothing rational about it. Just a silly superstition.
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JohnLocke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 06:01 PM
Response to Reply #53
55. LOL.
Your arrogance has blinded you to the difference between a fact and a belief.
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bigbillhaywood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #55
56. Okay, I believe in the Easter Bunny-- what makes this belief any less
reasonable than believing in God? I think God's non-existence is a fact for the same reason I think the Easter Bunny's existence is a fact. Just because I can't disprove their existences doesn't mean there is any evidence whatsover to believe they exist.
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JohnLocke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 06:25 PM
Response to Reply #56
57. Wow...why not belittle everyone in your path?
:eyes:
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bigbillhaywood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 06:29 PM
Response to Reply #57
59. An unfortunate consequence
Of trying to spread "Enlightenment", Mr. Locke. Political, social and philosophical discussions will always end up belittling someone's beliefs, if not intentionally, because beliefs, views and understandings will necessarily conflict.
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kiahzero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #56
58. No evidence for you, perhaps. (n/t)
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bigbillhaywood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 06:31 PM
Response to Reply #58
60. No objective evidence for anyone, unfortunately
Religious epiphanies don't count. Give me objective, scientific evidence. By the way, if God does exist, he must be a real dickhead considering the state of things in the world. Oooh...He moves in mysterious ways.
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kiahzero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #60
62. Arbitrary distinction
Religious epiphanies don't count. Give me objective, scientific evidence. By the way, if God does exist, he must be a real dickhead considering the state of things in the world. Oooh...He moves in mysterious ways.

You've arbitrarily set a limit on the type of evidence to exclude the type that is available to most people. If an individual has a religious epiphany, that's all the evidence that individual needs. Now, they shouldn't expect others to be swayed by that epiphany, but that's another matter entirely.
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bigbillhaywood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 06:44 PM
Response to Reply #62
65. So I guess someone believing they are Napoleon would count as evidence
they are Napoleon. I don't think personal beliefs count as evidence of anything, except that person's own belief.
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kiahzero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #65
67. Your argument is flawed
Let me set up a hypothetical situation.

A diety appears before you, for no other reason than to piss you off. She says "Ha ha! You now know that I exist, and yet I shall leave absolutely no scientific evidence to prove it." She then disappears without a trace.

Is it rational for you to continue to insist that there is no such thing as God, even though you know it not to be the case?
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bigbillhaywood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 07:00 PM
Response to Reply #67
70. I would immediately seek the help of a psychiatrist
If there had been shrinks in Joan of Arc's day, she wouldn't be considered a saint. I have an Aunt who claims God speaks to her-- I think she's nuts (although her being a right-wing Republican, I'd probably think that anyway).
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kiahzero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #70
71. Then your viewpoint is not scientific
You have an assumption (there is no God), and you are willing to hold that assumption even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
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bigbillhaywood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 07:15 PM
Response to Reply #71
72. Interesting point
Let's follow up with a previous analogy. Let's say the Easter Bunny talks to me, would I then be taking the "unscientific" view by checking myself into the looney bin? Or what if my cat started talking to me, then suddenly stopped? That would be cool-- but anyways, would I be irrational in denying the overwhelming evidence that my cat was talking, rather than just assuming I'm schizophrenic? Now if your example was the God came to me and a bunch of other people saw the exact same thing at the exact same time and there was no evidence that the apparition was caused by anything of this world-- then I guess I'd have to recognize God's existence. But my point holds, unsubstantiated personal "experience" is not objective evidence.
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kiahzero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 07:27 PM
Response to Reply #72
73. Why is the assumption that you are schizophrenic better?
Because you have a previously held assumption that God does not exist. Hence, you ignore the evidence before you and search for another explaination.

If you continually heard voices, including when you were with other people who did not hear those voices, you might have a case that you were schizophrenic.

It should also be noted, since you brought it up, that it is nigh impossible for a psychologist to determine whether a patient has schizophrenia. Sociologists have done experiments where pseudo-patients are sent to mental institutions to see how long it takes the staff to realize that they weren't schizophrenic - the staff never figured it out in most cases.
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bigbillhaywood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 07:38 PM
Response to Reply #73
80. But what about my cat example? Or the Easter Bunny?
They don't talk to me continually. Just once, when no one else is around. Is it still unscientific for me to go to a shrink?
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #56
63. How do you respond to those who say they "experience" the presence of God
..but not the "presence" the easter bunny? Because that's what many people would say. They are not believing without "any" evidence. Their evidence is the evidence of their experience of the world and life.

In other words most people who say the believe in God do so because they have personal experience that they have a hard time explaining otherwise or denying.

Now, you can criticize and mock their experience all you want, or try to explain it by other means, but that's far from absolute, and you're really not in a position to conclusively judge what someone else is experiencing. Maybe God speaks/relates to them but not you. Who knows. Who the fuck cares for that matter!?!

People who feel the need to not only speak about what they believe by militantly, dogmatically, and dismissively tell everyone else what to think are fucking annoying as hell. They're bad enough when they're fundamentalist Christians. They're worse when their fundamentalist atheists.
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bigbillhaywood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 06:56 PM
Response to Reply #63
68. Hey look, I admit it probably is annoying to believers
but I truly believe we will move nowhere as a society unless we build our morals, ideas and politics on reason. Religion is an impediment to that because it is irrational and impacts on people's moral, social and political decisions. Look at history and you will see that religion has been fundamentally reactionary (there are exceptions, of course-- but for every MLK there are 100 Osamas). The only way to correct this is to smash religion. If this makes me as bad as the fundamentalists...so be it. Call me a radical rationalist.

Once again, personal "experience" is not objective, scientific evidence. And I doubt most believers have had such an experience, they just believe what they were always told to believe, and because the thought of death being permanent and the world being an irrational, cruel place is too much for them to bear. Well, this is it. No heaven, no hell, no benevolent superior being with a master plan. If we want it to be better, we've got to do it ourselves-- rationally without religion.
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 06:37 PM
Response to Reply #53
61. Logical truism: absence of proof is not proof of absence.
Edited on Thu Apr-08-04 06:43 PM by Selwynn
There may be no god, but to argue anything other than what's in my subject line is illogical and non-sensical. And any good rational atheist will concede that this is so.

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bigbillhaywood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 06:43 PM
Response to Reply #61
64. Conceded, but this holds for the Easter Bunny's existence as well
So why is belief in the Easter Bunny considered juvenile, insane or ridiculous, but believing in God is not? Just because more adults believe in God, they have some "sacred" text and have built powerful institutions and systems of morality and thought around this belief? This is no evidence, either. Belief in God and the Easter Bunny, are, logically, on the same level.
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #64
66. Answered above. And either way, that doesn't chance the fact that...
..your claim that "it is a fact" is an untruth. Doesn't matter what you think of the "value" of someone else's belief. It is FALSE to say that it is FACT that God does not exist. That's the only thing I was interested in pointing out.

It religious beliefs seem stupid to you, by all means, don't embrace them.

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bigbillhaywood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #66
69. Okay, that God does not exist is NOT A FACT, however belief in God is
still irrational
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 07:33 PM
Response to Reply #53
76. can't help it, but
I find this post very humorous given the first three paragraphs of the original post in the thread. Almost as if there needed to be a... "drum roll, please..." prefacing the post.
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bigbillhaywood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 07:30 PM
Response to Original message
74. Join the Atheist Resistance!
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Selwynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 08:20 PM
Response to Original message
81. I can't believe how fast this thread was hijacked....
...by people trying to tell everyone else what to think.
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bigbillhaywood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #81
82. Sorry
But you asked the question why? I think I provided an answer. Face it, everybody wants people to agree with them on certain issues, and will try to make arguments in their favor. Why exclude atheism from this? Oh yeah, I'm supposed to be tolerant of others irrational beliefs when it comes to God. Nothing's sacred. It's all up for debate. The rational argument should win out. I think your pal Bertrand would agree with me.
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THATGIRL1 Donating Member (19 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 08:40 PM
Response to Original message
83. Wise, wise words
The greatest evils in the world today are the absence of empathy and the persistence of ignorance.
~ Selwynn
WELL SAID Selwynn!!! :yourock:
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